Thursday, September 10th, 2015

 The Morris County Board of Freeholders have proclaimed the upcoming weekend of Sept. 12-13 as “2015 Gran Fondo NJ Weekend’’ in Morris County, to herald the fifth annual statewide and regional cycling event that will start and finish in Morristown, drawing some 2,100 riders and many hundreds more families and friends to Morris County.   

Freeholders Proclaim Set. 12-13 as Gran Fondo NJ Weekend in Morris County -- 2,100 riders to Launch from Morristown on Sunday
Marty Epstein, Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo, Bill Ruddick, and Freeholder Tom Mastrangelo

The freeholders last night issued a proclamation to Marty Epstein, the owner of Marty’s Reliable Cycle and host of the event, and Gran Fondo NJ Executive Director Bill Ruddick for their efforts to bring this major cycling event to Morris County for a fifth consecutive year.

“This is a remarkably challenging event that has become a fixture on the Morris County sports and fitness scene thanks to Marty Epstein and his dedicated crew,’’ said Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo. 

“In addition, the Gran Fondo NJ draws thousands of people to our county, offering a boost to the county’s economy, promoting the county as a tourism destination, and serving as a real-life advertisement for the quality of life in our county. 

“The Morris County Board of Freeholders welcomes all who are coming to Morristown and Morris County for this outstanding event, and we proclaim Sept. 12 and 13, 2015, to be Gran Fondo Weekend in Morris County,’’ she added. 

Freeholders Proclaim Set. 12-13 as Gran Fondo NJ Weekend in Morris County -- 2,100 riders to Launch from Morristown on Sunday
Start of 2014 Grand Fondo NJ from Morristown

The Gran Fondo, which originated in Italy, is to cyclists what a marathon is to runners. In recent years, Gran Fondos have become a popular mass-participation cycling events for cycling enthusiasts across North America.

Gran Fondo NJ offers a choice of route lengths –18, 42, 62 and 107 miles– and timed hill segments that wind their way through some of New Jersey’s best cycling roads.                             

Starting and ending in Morristown, this combination of bike touring and timed climbs attracts a wide range of cyclists from the casual weekend rider to the well-trained endurance athlete.

Epstein and Ruddick told the freeholders that they have to prepare 123 miles of roads in Morris and North Jersey for this year’s event, setting up police security, race volunteers on the course, painting race symbols on roads across the region, and many other details to be ready for Sunday’s 7 a.m. start on the Morristown Green.  

In addition, Gran Fondo NJ includes a weekend of festivals, expos and other activities offering entertainment culminating in the ride and post-ride celebration.

There also is an optional fundraising component to the New Jersey event, which has been used by riders supporting local and national charities, and which has raised more than $600,000 for local and regional charities over the past five years.

To view videos of past Gran Fondos NJ, including last year’s start on the Morristown Green, visit: http://granfondonj.com/videos/

For more information on Gran Fondo NJ, visit: http://granfondonj.com/                                                          

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